ROCKVILLE, Md. - There are new questions being raised about a cell phone seized by a judge in a high-profile murder trial in Montgomery County.
The person using the phone may have been taking pictures as a witness for the prosecution was testifying in the case of two Northwest High School students killed on the eve of their graduation.
But a couple of days ago on Wednesday morning as testimony was going on, a woman who was sitting in the courtroom was seen using her cellphone to take what appeared to be pictures, and the judge stopped the trial.
The judge then asked the woman to come up to the bench and questioned her. He ended up taking her phone and had her escorted out of the courtroom and told not to return.
FOX 5 has learned the phone is now in the possession of the judge. However, what will happen to the phone is still in question at this point and it is unclear exactly what is on the device and what pictures may have been taken.
The person who was on the stand at the time of the incident is a key witness in this case – a woman who had been in protective custody by Montgomery County police after she came forward in October to tie a lot of this case together. In fact, she was the key in getting a fourth person arrested in this case.
Canales-Yanez chose to have his trial heard by a judge and is accused of conspiring with three others to kill Artem Ziberov and Shadi Najjar last June.
At this point, it is unclear whether any charges are going to be filed after the phone incident.
The investigation is ongoing and is being handled by the judge in this case. We have been told that the sheriff's office and the police department are not involved at this point.